Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Thought I Had Accepted All This, But...

It has been a long time since I have posted anything. I guess you could say that life caught up with me and I just got wrapped up with work and preparations for having Caleb. I really had nothing new to report until now.

As of yesterday, I have come to the realization that I have not accepted all of what is about to happen to me. I know that I have accepted what is potentially in store for Caleb, but I have made myself into an innocent bystander of sorts. I have not truly allowed myself to go into in-depth contemplation on what kind of labor and birth I will have. I guess a part of me felt like it would be selfish to consider the things that will happen to my body when the only thing that should matter to me is Caleb and his well-being.

Yesterday I had an ultrasound and prenatal exam. I was prepared to discuss the findings and I wanted to talk about the potential of having a C-section. At this point, the only reason they would plan on a C-section is if his head is too large to pass. I have been told at the last few ultrasounds that his head was a little large, but not excessively. I was also told that the state of his brain abnormalities hasn't changed. I guess I have been imagining that to be good news.

The reality is this; his head, at this point, is at the 95th percentile for growth. Yes, as you are probably thinking, that is alarmingly significant. The cervix only dilates to 10 centimeters in diameter and anything bigger than that won't fit through it. Caleb's head is 9.2 centimeters and I the doctors are certain that if he isn't born within the next week or so, it will grow to be too large. I am really not planning to have a C-section, but I have been preparing myself for the possibility.

I asked them if they would consider inducing me to prevent his head from growing too large. I am 36 weeks and 37 weeks is considered "full term." I would rather not be induced either, but considering the lose-lose situation of C-section versus induction, I prefer the latter. The problem is that they won't induce me either as their policy is not to induce before 39 weeks. This presents the problem of me not getting any say-so in my medical care. I feel it should be my choice if I prefer to be induced at 37 weeks or if I choose to schedule a C-section. We are pretty sure that if I make it to 38 weeks, his head will be too big and I will end up with a C-section anyway. I'd rather be prepared and at least be able to give vaginal birth a try.

I have come to the realization that this birth is going to be completely out of my hands and it is most-likely not going to go as I would wish it to. I haven't even met all the delivering doctors at the clinic I go to and that means I could end up with a perfect stranger delivering Caleb. Even the doctors I have met are strangers to me. I have never had more than 1 appointment with any of them so I honestly can't say I feel comfortable with any of them delivering my baby.

Again, I thought I had taken all of this into consideration and accepted it, but as it turns out, I was wrong. The only thing I have accepted is that Caleb will be taken from me when he is born and our relationship will suffer due to the time he will spend away from me in the NICU. I have not accepted what this situation means for me, as a patient.

Another thing I was supposed to do yesterday was go on a tour of the Labor and Delivery floor and the NICU. Neither of those tours happened. I have never even set foot inside the place my son will be cared for, nor have I met any of the neonatal staff. The nurse who was supposed to take me for the tour wasn't available when I was ready and there was apparently no one else who could take me. How disappointing. I am still not scared, but I feel so horribly unprepared.

On the bright side, Caleb now weighs a whopping 6lbs 13oz, which is nearly 1lb bigger than average for this week in pregnancy. He won't be as big as his sister (thank God) but he will still be a nice-sized boy. Unfortunately, I was told that the cyst in his head has grown as well. This was much to my dismay because I was under the impression that nothing was changing in the brain. At this point, I don't know the implications of the increase in size and it seems that the doctors have all assumed a "we won't know what any of this truly means until Caleb is here" stance and it is honestly getting me a little frustrated.

I understand that no one can predict how well or how poorly Caleb will do outside the womb, but all the more reason to get him out next week, right? I can say that I am ready to go...let's just pray that he is, too.


  1. I can't even begin to imagine how you must feel right now Heather. I know with Michelle's pregnancy there were a lot of "unknowns" too, and I remember wishing it were possible to just fast-forward to when he was born so we could know exactly what we were dealing with. The unknowns can be agonizing. I will continue to pray for strength for you and Andy to get through these next few weeks. And though it doesn't seem that way, I am sure that your team of doctors only have yours and Caleb's best interests at heart. Love you!

  2. Please don't worry when Caleb goes to the NICU, All three of my children went there shortly after their birth. Those nurse are wonderful, trust them & the knowledge that they have. Bonding with him will happen when he hears your voice, I couldn't hold my kids for a couple of days only talk to them. I know you are overwhelmed & don't mean to make it more confusing. I will keep prayer for you & Caleb.